Michael Novak was born in Los Angeles, and lived in New York City for ten years before moving to Portland in 2007—officially placing him in the category of “person most despised by native-born Portlanders.” Over a 20-year career, he’s been an editorial Art Director at Time Warner and Portland Monthly, as well as an illustrator, designer, animator, and storyboard artist. 

The highlight of Mike’s brief animation career was a year-long stint as a character layout animator on the Fox show King of The Hill, before he decided that drawing Hank Hill all day long was pretty damn boring. After the act of sitting at home waiting for the phone to ring put the kibosh on his freelance illustration career, he discovered design, which he loves.

His duties at Portland Monthly consist of making the magazine look and read awesomely, by designing covers, features, and pretty much anything else. In his free time he likes to sleep.

Travel

Quick and Easy Day Trips for Fall Fun

Orchards in the Hood River Valley, spooks in St. Helens, fall revelry in Wilsonville, and more

10:56am By Gabriel Granillo, Rose Lee, and Fiona McCann

Coffee

5 Portland Roasters Weaving Culture and Identity into Coffee

The owners of Portland Cà Phê, Café Zamora, Super Joy, and more source beans from countries where they have deep family roots.

10/21/2021 By Monica Salazar

Shops

El Interior Honors and Shares Traditional Mexican Folk Art

From colorful ceramic skulls for Día de los Muertos to floral table runners, Laura Gutierrez wants to share the art of her people.

10/08/2021 By Gabriel Granillo

Holidays

The Importance of Ofrendas on Día de los Muertos

Plus: We reach out to local Mexican/Mexican American/Latinx creators, makers, and businesses to help decorate our own ofrenda.

10/05/2021 By Gabriel Granillo

Best Restaurants 2021

Portland's Best New Food Carts

From kare kare fries to birria taquitos to vegan sushi rolls, this crop of newcomers is raising the ceiling of what a food cart can be.

09/17/2021 By Katherine Chew Hamilton

Coffee & Tea

Portland’s 10 Best Bubble Tea Shops

Where to get the boba of your dreams, whether that means cheese foam, puff cream, rose-lychee, or a whole lemon.

09/08/2021 By Katherine Chew Hamilton, Nick Campigli, and Cami Hughes

Museums

10 Must-Visit Museums in Portland

From stalwarts like OMSI to oddities like the Zymoglyphic Museum, you can make a fruitful day of museum-hopping without ever leaving city limits.

09/08/2021 By Conner Reed

Farm to Fork

Asian Veggies Grow at Mora Mora Farm in Gresham

Plus, a beef stir fry recipe from Richard Le of Matta.

08/26/2021 By Jade Yamazaki Stewart Photography by Michael Novak

Shopping

A Custom-Built Trike Empire Grows in Portland’s Old Town

Icicle Tricycles builds everything from activewear to zine trikes.

08/25/2021 By Julia Silverman

Home & Garden

Livingscape Nursery’s New Owners Have Houseplant Tips for You

This Northeast Portland nursery's new owners have all the tips for burgeoning green thumbs.

08/16/2021 By Gabriel Granillo

Back to School

When 'Back to School' Still Means Opening Up a Laptop

The district and others are modeling a future where school is always online and from home.

08/11/2021 By Julia Silverman

Field Notes

New Mt. Hood Trails Boast Views and Wildflowers Galore

The ski and snowboarding resort debuted an 8-mile expanded trail system this summer.

08/10/2021 By Gabriel Granillo

Design

After 35 Years, the Hollywood Transit Center Is Finally Getting a Redesign

The new Hollywood Hub will focus on equity, inclusion, and community.

07/14/2021 By Gabriel Granillo

Outdoors

Oregon's Stupendous, Incredible, Magnificent Lake Country

Where to camp, hike, paddle, float, or just dip your toes in the water

07/13/2021 By Kiva Hanson, Reina Harwood, Fiona McCann, Margaret Seiler, Julia Silverman, and Benjamin Tepler

Eat This Now

7 Must-Try Hot Dog Hotspots

Where to find the quintessential sausage of summer, whether you like yours Chicago-style, Coney-style, or topped with kimchi and mango.

07/09/2021 By Katherine Chew Hamilton and Nick Campigli

Bars & Cocktails

Our Favorite Boozy, Frozen Slushies for Summer Sipping

Slushies scream summer. Turn up the party with these grown-up versions.

07/07/2021 By Katherine Chew Hamilton, Fiona McCann, Conner Reed, and Julia Silverman

Arts & Culture

Leila Haile and Joaquin Lopez Are Portland’s New Creative Laureates

This is the first time the city has appointed two artists to serve as the official ambassadors to the broader creative community.

06/24/2021 By Gabriel Granillo

Food

Three Sisters Nixtamal's Marvelous Masa

A good taco needs good tortillas. Here’s why a tortilla made with freshly nixtamalized corn is hard to beat.

06/23/2021 By Katherine Chew Hamilton

DIY

Here's How to Grow Your Own Salad

Put in the time now to reap the sweet, homegrown reward later.

06/22/2021 By Eden Dawn

Bakeries

Our Top 6 Chocolate Croissants, Ranked

Two of our editors share a particular fondness for this pastry. We undertook some research to find the city’s best.

06/11/2021 By Katherine Chew Hamilton